Project #7448

Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums

by Christel House International

A new first of its kind efficacy study focusing on sustainable transformation and breaking the cycle of poverty shows the Christel House model is dramatically transforming the lives of impoverished children. The sixteen week-long study was done by education and CSR domain experts from global management consulting firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP.  

According to the study, a student starting primary education in Christel House India Bangalore is 8 times more likely to successfully complete the 12th grade graduation examination and 19 times more likely to graduate from a higher education program as compared to a government school student.

The study also examined other NGOs and government schools serving a similar demographic. Students at Christel House India - Bangalore are over 25% more likely to pass the 10th grade examination, and 50% more likely to pass the 12th grade examination than students of government schools serving a similar demographic.

“It is our commitment to reverse generational poverty and transform lives,” says Raju Shahani, Managing Director of Christel House India. “This study proves Christel House works.”

The mission of Christel House is to transform the lives of impoverished children around the world—breaking the cycle of poverty and building self-sufficient, contributing members of society. A focus on academic excellence through a robust K–12 curriculum is combined with a strong character development program to give students the skills and competencies necessary to compete successfully in complex 21st Century society.

Much more than a school, Christel House was established in 1998 by Founder and CEO Christel DeHaan, and currently serves nearly 4,100 impoverished children through seven learning centers—located in India, Mexico, South Africa and the U.S.A. Christel House students maintain a 98% graduation exam pass rate, and the majority of its graduates go on to pursue higher education. They become productive citizens, and many secure employment with top multinational corporations. Christel House graduates are confident, hardworking, responsible and ethical, with a passion for giving back to their communities and caring for their families.

Yachna in kindergarten
Yachna in kindergarten

The communities served by Christel House are among the poorest of the poor. Abject poverty often means there is no food.

India is home to the world's largest food insecure population, with more than 500 million people who are hungry. Among children in India, 42.5% under the age of five are underweight. Whether it is in the urban slums of Bangalore or the semi-urban communities in Naya Raipur, children do not have enough food to eat and definitely not enough nutritious food.

Yachna is just one of these children. At 5 years old, she is quite small for her age, even by Indian standards. She enrolled in kindergarten at Christel House India—Naya Raipur in August, 2016.

At Christel House, we understand that a child who is hungry cannot learn. That is why we provide students with breakfast, lunch and a snack every school day, 80% of our kids’ daily nutrition.

A lunch meal might include rice, vegetables, eggs, chapatti, yogurt and fruit. Mineral and vitamin supplements are also provided.

About ten days after Yachna started school, a teacher saw her rolling up her chapatti, which is similar to a flat bread, and putting it into her bag. The teacher asked Yachna why she was doing this. Yachna said “I know I will get food at school tomorrow. My sister doesn’t go to school and she doesn’t have chapatti to eat, so I am taking it for her.”

Because of your support, Yachna and other students at Christel House now have food security. They go to sleep knowing that there will be food on the table when they come to school. Thank you for helping to fill tummies and nourish minds. You are providing a seat at the table of life for Christel House kids. 

Christel House student homes in Naya Raipur
Christel House student homes in Naya Raipur
A student meal at Christel House
A student meal at Christel House


Christel House is breaking the cycle of poverty
Christel House is breaking the cycle of poverty

The reality for impoverished children in India, particularly girls, is stifling. They face insurmountable odds and are sentenced to repeat the generational cycle of poverty into which they were born.

  • An estimated 47% of women in India are married by age 181.
  • 29.8% of girls in India complete Grade 10 1.
  • Only 1 in 100 girls in India graduate from Grade 121.

Christel House has been working to break this cycle of poverty in India for 15 years. Students starting in kindergarten at Christel House India are 16 times more likely to graduate from a post-secondary education program when compared to government school students.

  • Girls with secondary schooling are 6 times less likely to be child brides than those with little or no education 3.
  • Christel House India has a 96% annual retention rate.
  • 98 in 100 students at Christel House India pass their graduation exams.

And, with your support, we want to continue the impact. We will soon open a new school in India to give even more children a brighter future.

The government of Chhattisgarh, one of India’s poorest states, is building a new school for Christel House in the city of Naya Raipur. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. Initially, it will serve 210 students in Grades K–2. Each year, the school will add one new grade level.

The government is funding construction, but Christel House will be responsible for covering the cost of student programs, teachers, books, food, health care and transportation.

For young girls living in poverty in Naya Raipur, attending Christel House will mean a free, quality education, nutrition, medical support, safe transportation to and from school and a healthy environment to learn and grow.

Your support of ‘Educate an Indian Girl-Child from the Slums’ is giving impoverished girls the opportunity to step into a classroom for the very first time. Thank you for helping to change a child’s life story.

1. The World of Indian Girls 2014 Report – Save the Children
2. Impact at Scale, DARSA
3. Keeping Girls in Secondary Schools, DARSA

Rendering of the new school in Naya Raipur
Rendering of the new school in Naya Raipur


Kusuma at graduation
Kusuma at graduation

We are excited to share that Kusuma, a 2011 Christel House India—Bangalore graduate, was recently featured by The Times of India. We thought you might enjoy reading her story.

Cabbie’s daughter lands a job at Dell

BANGALORE: Kusuma’s story is one of turning hardships into opportunities. Daughter of taxi driver Raju and school helper Pushpamma, this computer science graduate has beaten all odds to land a job at Dell Inc.

The 23-year-old woman says she owes much of her success to Christel House India—Bangalore, a charitable organization that works for the education and healthcare of children from impoverished city neighborhoods. Pushpamma heard about the school from one of her colleagues and ensured her daughter went there.

"No one should define the way you should be. And if someone does so, you should work harder to fulfill your dreams," said Kusuma, who faced monetary difficulties and battled social stereotypes. "No one ever thought I was capable of achieving anything," she said. Her mother had big dreams for her daughters. "My mother was very keen that I join a good school and receive proper education," recalls Kusuma, speaking of the many sacrifices her parents made.

During her final year of college, a mentor program organized at Christel House by Dell opened new avenues. During discussions with the IT heads of the firm, Kusuma expressed her desire to work for a similar organization. Soon, she was called for an interview, which she aced. Kusuma joined Dell's performance-testing team as a trainee on April 1, 2016. Kusuma noted, "I'm enjoying the experience. There is so much to learn and explore. My mentors are always willing to teach me."

The only engineer in her family, Kusuma derives satisfaction from being able to support her family. "It's not important what background you come from. If you are determined to succeed, you can do wonders. The key is not to be negative about the prevailing circumstances," she said.

Kusuma's story proves yet again that, given the right encouragement, most children can rise above the ordinary and reach for the stars. This daughter of a taxi driver has shown the path for disadvantaged children. These children need to be told that they shouldn't be cowed down by their situation and make the most of the support that their parents and NGOs provide. There are many opportunities in the big, wide world and opening their eyes to them is the least that people around them can do. Beyond that, it's the kids' hard work which will see them become achievers.

Your support of Christel House is making an enormous difference in the lives of our students. Kusuma wanted to express her gratitude: “Thank you for helping me see that I can be anything I want to be. I have dreams and aspirations and I will achieve them.” Thank you for your generosity.

Kusuma, Christel House India-Bangalore graduate
Kusuma, Christel House India-Bangalore graduate


Christel House India student at home
Christel House India student at home

Recently, you gave to support Christel House India students. Over the years, people did exactly what you did, they donated. And because of those donations, lives have been changed. Christel House students who grew up in the slums of Bangalore are now successfully employed at companies like Dell, Microsoft, Northern Trust, RCI, and Transguard Securities. Christel House India graduates are excelling in a country where only 6% of the population works in formal sector employment. For these students, the cycle of poverty is being broken. That’s the power of your investment.

“If I was in a different school, we would not be given food.  We would not have medical check-ups.  I would not learn to work hard,” said Sufiyan, a 3rd grade student at Christel House India. Your generosity is changing lives and giving hope to students like Sufiyan—the next generation of Christel House graduates.

100% of your gift directly supports the children of Christel House. Administrative and fundraising costs are covered by our Founder and CEO. Thank you for giving.

Christel House India student at school
Christel House India student at school



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Organization Information

Christel House International

Location: Indianapolis, IN - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Bobbi Bosch
Indianapolis, Indiana United States
$37,214 raised of $40,000 goal
436 donations
$2,786 to go
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